There’s no question that 2020 and 2021 were chaotic years for pet trends. In some cases, dogs and cats were turned in to shelters due to financial difficulties from COVID-related drops in income. Fortunately, many families also adopted dogs and cats since they were home for the COVID lockdown. Luckily, 2022 showed some upward trends in rescue pet adoptions as well.
Drop-offs at shelters have decreased compared to the previous two years, hopefully indicating that people are integrating their pets into their families as permanent members.
At the same time, adoptions increased, although only slightly. Stay-at-home workers seem to find pets a suitable substitute for co-workers (24pet.com Shelter Watch adoption trends support these findings).
At least 54% of American households own at least one dog, but cats are a solid second with 35% of households having at least one cat. Millennials have now jumped into first place as the generation with the most pets. Dogs lead as their top pet choice, but cats are making huge gains with this age group.
Costs of pet food and problems with access to affordable veterinary care are concerns for many pet owners as we head into 2023.